Alcohol and Drug Addiction

While we do not offer detoxification services we are happy to work with patients who have completed inpatient or outpatient rehabilitation and are ready to work on maintaining sobriety.

Addiction is not about character or lack of caring about people around you.

It’s your brain’s chemical release compelling you to engage in high risk behaviors in order to feel better. In our practice we take a psychobiological approach to addictions. This means we believe your behavior is determined in part by your past experiences as well as by the present state of your brain chemistry and neural pathways. We integrate current brain science into our approach in order to fully understand and manage not only addictive behaviors, but also a variety of social and emotional problems.

There are many factors in your history that can underlie a vulnerability to addiction, some of these include:

  • Family of origin issues
  • Attachment style/attachment trauma
  • Anxiety disorders (OCD, PTSD, social anxiety)
  • Depressive disorders
  • ADHD
  • Eating disorders
  • History of sexual abuse
  • History of emotional abuse
  • History of physical abuse

There are also deeper subconscious beliefs or patterns that make one vulnerable to addiction and/or relapse, such as:

  • Self-esteem wounds/low self-esteem
  • Repressed anger
  • Un-grieved losses
  • Self-defeating patterns

20-Question Addiction Questionnaire

Johns Hopkins University developed the following self-test for identifying alcoholism. It has been modified to include drugs as well as alcohol. Please answer the questions as honestly as possible.

  1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking or drug use?
  2. Is drinking or drug use making your home life unhappy?
  3. Do you drink or use drugs because you are shy with other people?
  4. Is drinking or drug use affecting your reputation?
  5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking or drug use?
  6. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of your drinking or drug use?
  7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking or using drugs?
  8. Does your drinking or drug use make you careless of your family’s welfare?
  9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking or using drugs?
  10. Do you crave a drink or a drug at a definite time daily?
  11. Do you want a drink or drug the next morning?
  12. Does your drinking or drug use cause you to have difficulties in sleeping?
  13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking or using drugs?
  14. Is your drinking or drug use jeopardizing your job or business?
  15. Do you drink or use drugs to escape from worries or troubles?
  16. Do you drink or use drugs alone?
  17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory?
  18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking or drug use?
  19. Do you drink or use drugs to build your self-confidence?
  20. Have you ever been in a hospital or institution on account of drinking or drug use?

If you answered “yes” to 3 questions, it suggests you probably have a drinking or drug problem.

If you answered “yes” to 4-7 questions, it suggests you may be in an early stage of alcoholism or drug addiction.

If you answered “yes” to 7-10 questions, it suggests you may be in the second stage of alcoholism or drug addiction.

If you answered “yes” to more than 10 questions, it suggests you may be in end-stage alcoholism or drug addiction.

Please remember that this test was designed to help determine if you may have a problem. It isn’t necessarily diagnostic.

But if you’ve answered “yes” to more than 3 questions, you are encouraged to take the next step:

Seek professional help in determining if you have an alcohol or drug problem from a doctor or drug addiction specialist,
or attend an “open” meeting of AA or any other relevant 12-Step programs (ie. one that’s open to the public and not specifically limited to those who identify themselves as alcoholics or drug addicts).

You don’t have to say anything. You can just listen to see if you share the feelings or the struggles described there. AA meetings are welcoming and anonymous. Google “AA”, “Al-Anon”, “NA”, etc. and your location to find a listing of meeting times and locations.

If you’re afraid of going to a 12-Step meeting, try to examine why. The reason(s) may be additional clues to whether or not you have a problem.

​Our practice is complimentary to a 12-step model of recovery as well as models that do not take the 12-step approach such as “harm reduction”. We aim to support a person in recovery to better understand their addiction from a biological, chemical, neurological, social and family perspective. We are happy to work with people who also attend 12-step meetings and/or have sponsors.

Schedule a FREE initial 30-minute consultation or ask any questions.